Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - Climbing Rhyme

The form for this week's stretch is climbing rhyme.
Climbing Rhyme is a form of Burmese poetry containing a repeated sequence of 3 internally-rhymed lines consisting of 4 syllables each. Since Burmese is monosyllabic, this works well, but in English this might be difficult. Instead of 4 syllable lines, let's try writing in lines of 4 words. (If you're feeling brave, go ahead and try four syllables!)

The rhyme scheme for climbing rhyme is internal. That means the position of the rhyming word changes. The rhyme appears in the 4th word of line one, 3rd word of line 2, and 2nd word of line 3. The pattern continues as a new rhyme appears in the 4th word of line 3, the 3rd word of line 4, and the 2nd word of line 5. This continues on, giving a stair-step feel to the poem, hence the name climbing rhyme.

For those of you who need to see this visually, here it is. Each x stands for a word. The letters stand for rhyming words. Just remember the 4-3-2 pattern.
x x x a
x x a x
a x b
x x b x
b x c
x x c x
c x x
I hope you'll join me this week in writing a climbing rhyme. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Writer

    Search for a word,
    a sound unheard, like
    a bird, bright sigh
    against the sky but
    too high to hold,
    wings flash gold, spin
    away bold-feathered, gone.

    —Kate Coombs, 2014
    all rights reserved

  2. I'm rushing to meet a deadline this week, so I'll reprise a climbing rhyme I wrote a while ago. High marks, Kate!

    A Fare-Thee-Well

    Before we go,
    let us slowly
    compose ourselves,
    like toy shelves kept
    by elves, or pins
    pointed in a
    cushion, like poems.

    © 2014 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  3. You both set such a high bar! Your poems are lovely. I found this form very hard. Clearly end-rhymes have been etched in my brain. I've agonized over this one long enough.

    Poor Snail

    Here lies the trail
    of a snail who
    set sail along
    the slim prong of
    the wrong green blade.
    Poor snail paid but
    the jade frog ate.

    © 2014 Elizabeth Steinglass, all rights reserved

  4. Sweet Little Kitty

    Cat curls up tight,
    closes eyes, purrs.
    Disguised by sleep,
    sinks down deep where
    cat dreams are found
    and stalks, soundless,
    huge now, lethal.

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014

  5. Such nice stuff! (And thanks, Steven.)

    Gazing at turquoise sky
    I wonder why this
    Stupid guy from school
    Thinks I’m uncool. Dan’s
    So cruel to me,
    Could it be that
    Maybe he’s lonely too?

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.